Skip to main content

The Russian invasion of Ukraine shocked many people around the world. It’s the largest ground invasion since World War II. In terms of both personnel and equipment, the Russian military overwhelming outmatches the Ukrainian military. However, the Ukrainian military has some familiar SUVs, including the Humvee and Toyota Land Cruiser.

Humvees in the Ukraine military

Humvees driving on a sandy road, highlighting SUVs in Ukraine military
Convoy of Humvees | Scott Nelson/Getty Images

The Ukrainian military features around 337 units of the high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle (HMMWV or Humvee), as detailed by Military Factory. Many of the Humvees are for the 95th Air Assault Forces, a rapid reaction force and one of the most capable and respected divisions of the Ukrainian military.

The United States provided the Humvees over the past decade. Initially, the U.S. donated 10 vehicles to the Polish–Ukrainian Peace Force Battalion. The U.S. promised another 200 Humvees in March 2015, with deliveries in May 2015 and July 2015. Later, the U.S. delivered 60 Humvee ambulances between 2015 and 2016.

The Humvee has an iconic place in U.S military history. Produced by AM General, the Humvee has been in service since 1983. This includes the U.S. invasion of Panama, Gulf War, Bosnian War, Iraq War, War in Afghanistan, and Syrian Civil War. In total, more than 50 countries and organizations use the Humvee.

Toyota Land Cruisers in the Ukraine military

Black 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser driving on a rocky path, highlighting SUVs in the Ukraine military
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser | Toyota

Another SUV for the Ukraine military is the Toyota Land Cruiser, with a total of 43 units. While Japanese automaker Toyota built the Land Cruisers, the U.S donated them in 2017. 

In terms of warfare, the Land Cruiser received some unwanted publicity in recent years. Along with the Toyota Hilux, the Land Cruiser was one of the vehicles of choice for ISIS. The Land Cruiser also made appearances in ISIS propaganda videos.

There are multiple qualities that make the Land Cruiser suitable for war. Like many other Toyota vehicles, the Land Cruiser is very reliable and durable. Also, the Land Cruiser is a legendary off-roader, with the ability to drive over many different types of challenging terrain. Furthermore, the Land Cruiser can be customized in many different ways.

Other SUVs in the Ukraine military

In addition to the Humvee and Land Cruiser, the Ukrainian military has some other lesser-known SUVs. The citizens of Ternopil, a city in Western Ukraine, bought several dozen units of the Tarpan Honker from the Polish Land Forces. Later, Honkers were renovated and sent to the Donbas region in southeastern Ukraine. The Honker is a multipurpose all-terrain vehicle that is most known for its use in the Polish Army, both in Poland and in Iraq.

There’s also an unknown quantity of the UAZ-469, a utility vehicle dating back to the former Soviet Union. The Ukrainian military planned to start replacing the UAZ-469 in 2021. Also, the Ukrainian military has an unknown quantity of the Soviet-era UAZ-452 utility van. 

Something to keep in mind about SUVs like the Humvee and Land Cruiser is that they primarily serve as a support role. Tanks, armored personnel carriers, and artillery vehicles are the vehicles that take on the brunt of the military action. Even the Humvee, despite its years of use in wars and conflicts, has drawbacks. During the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Humvee was ill-equipped to handle roadside bombs. This resulted in the U.S military selecting the JLTV to replace the Humvee as its frontline tactical vehicle. 


Are We Actually Getting a New Toyota Land Cruiser in the U.S.?